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…let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely… (Hebrews12:1)
Various burdens can impede our spiritual progress. The cares or pleasures of the world, riches and honors, and other things of this kind can hinder us. We must try to disentangle ourselves from all such impediments if we are to compete effectively in this spiritual race.
Scripture identifies besetting sins such as sexual immorality, impurity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, envy and drunkenness (Galatians 5:19-21) and lying, theft, corrupt words, and bitterness (Ephesians 4:25-32). These things ensnare those who indulge them. Everybody has a besetting sin that they struggle with, and it tends to dominate life. A person might have an argumentative disposition. Others have a problem with the tongue. Still others struggle with outbursts of temper. These are the sins that keep Christians from being what God would have them to be. We can’t seem to get on top of them. Rather, they get on top of us.
From childhood, we have learned patterns of behavior. They have become unconscious responses. Sometimes we don’t even know that we have a problem. We have formed a habit. It is one thing to be unaware of our sinful habits, but another to be in denial about them. We cannot conquer a problem until we acknowledge it as a problem. Denial has a reasonable voice. We can compare ourselves to others and say we are not as bad as so and so. We can offer rational explanations. Furthermore, we can be defensive and say we have a good reason and just cause for our attitudes and actions. But these attitudes entangle us. Let us lay aside all that would slow us down or trip us up so that we can compete effectively in the great race.